To Whom It May Concern:
Freshmen I am looking at you. I know you just left teary-eyed parents in your wake and are still trying to figure everything out, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to hold you to a standard. You now are an Ohio State student and represent this university, so I, among many other upperclassmen, feel like your sibling. It is our duty to make sure you don’t embarrass us and our collective Ohio State family.
Don’t worry, we will be the first to extend our friendship and show you how great of a university you are attending, but we will also be the first to make fun of you traveling 20 people deep from Morrill Tower to your first college party that your sophomore friend told you he or she heard about – obviously that was never from experience.
So without further ado, here is some free advice to keep your head above water (or Natty Light, which you will come to find is essentially the same thing) this first month.
1. Get involved
If you have any inkling of what you might want to do with your life and you feel pretty comfortable with your major, find some student organizations or organizations in Columbus that you can join and get familiarity with right away. You would be surprised how easy it is to have an amazing experience right from the start if you are not afraid to talk to people. And worst cast scenario, you might find out your major isn’t what you want to do with your life, which is much better than figuring that out senior year a semester away from graduation, or even worse, after five years of hating real life in your career. And for those of you exploration majors, get involved with whatever piques your interest and who knows, maybe you’ll find your career through the Quarter-Scale Tractor Design Team. Look it up, it exists.
2. Go to class (at least some of the time)
You might think you hate those 8 a.m. Friday classes as much as us upperclassmen do, but you don’t, because most of us haven’t had Friday classes since Jim Tressel was still the most beloved man in Columbus. You have to figure out how college classes work and get comfortable with your schedule. Go to them all for at least the first month and get an idea of which classes you can actually afford to occasionally miss and be all right. History of Rock and Roll would be an acceptable answer, but missing chemistry too many times might have you crying to your parents on the phone far too soon.
3. Learn when and when not to procrastinate
And I’m not just talking about academics. No matter what, it is inevitable that you will procrastinate studying for a major exam until the night before and then pull an all-night study session. You will either learn to love Tera Byte CafÃ© coffee at the Science and Engineering Library or you will get smart real quick. What I’m really talking about is exploring Columbus and seeing what it all has to offer. Fall will be a little crazy with football season swallowing you all up in its Columbus love affair, but don’t keep putting off going to the Short North, missing one of the hundreds of concerts or any of the Columbus Crew or Clippers games that will be offered throughout the year. There are tons of cool places in Columbus, and they are usually just a free bus ride away.
4. Soak it all in
You only get to be a freshman once, and I resent you so much for that specific reason alone. It will be the most fun of your life to this point and you won’t actually realize several of the friends you are making will end up being the guys or girls you live with for the next three years. Don’t get too caught up in the drama and enjoy the 3 a.m. late-night Raising Cane’s runs and singing “Carmen Ohio” together after a particularly memorable Urban Era victory. So remember every moment of it that you can, because when you are all seniors you will be laughing hardest at some of those memories.
Keep your heads up, follow a few of these tips and you might just make this university proud. See you sometime soon walking down High Street getting yelled at.